Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Adams arrest provokes new tensions:

Martin McGuiness, Sinn Fein, Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland, at a tribute to Gerry Adams in Belfast yesterday.


The arrest and detention of Gerry Adams, President of Sinn Féin, and elected Deputy in the Irish Parliament, Dáil Éireann by police in Northern Ireland has provoked renewed sectarian tension in Belfast, a place which hardly needs any more provocations than already exist.

Mr Adams had presented himself voluntarily to the Antrim police barracks in the city as he had previously indicated he would, to answer allegations being continuously made against him by individuals and media pundits that he was directly involved in a murder case of 42 years ago in Northern Ireland which has been trawled through the media ad infinitum since then. Mr Adams has consistently denied all allegations as false and malicious. While the bereaved family of the murder victim are entitled to seek justice, their grief has been ruthlessly exploited by hostile media opposed to Sinn Féin’s political stance and particularly at this time when elections are being held in both parts of Ireland where Sinn Féin is set to gain considerably at the expense of their opponents.

It can only be surmised, despite denials by the Police Service of Northern Ireland, which replaced the sectarian Royal Ulster Constabulary following the peace settlement in Northern Ireland in 1990, that some reactionary elements of the former RUC and their known political supporters in the Unionist parties were involved in the staging of the arrest which was not legally necessary as Mr Adams had come forward voluntarily and could have been questioned as assisting the Police inquiries.

A distraction has been provided by the so-called “Boston Tapes”, the result of an academic project sponsored by Boston University which involved interviews with participants from both sides of the conflict in Northern Ireland 1969-90 related their recollections of their activities on the understanding that these interviews would not be made public until after their deaths. This undertaking was breached by a Boston Court which granted an application by the PSNI for access to the tapes as part of their murder inquiries although, according to one of the organisers of the exercise, journalist Ed Moloney,  who has published books on the subject, no allegations against Mr Adams and the murder case in question were contained therein.

Mr Moloney went on to assert in an interview this week another of the perennial accusations against Mr Adams that his consistent denial of IRA membership during the conflict years was false “as we all know Gerry Adams was a member of the IRA” How does Mr Moloney “know” this except by hearsay by individuals other than Mr Adams who may have their own axe to grind as Mr Moloney obviously does? The IRA was a secret organisation and as far as is known did not keep written lists of members so where does Mr Moloney get his information from? He also well knows that, in Irish and UK law, no one can be convicted on hearsay.

The whole process was a discredit to the PSNI which has worked hard to gain credibility in the nationalist community in Northern Ireland and suited only the agenda of those reactionary forces within Unionism and the British State establishment which are hostile to the peace process in Northern Ireland and democracy in these islands.


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